June, 2008

Q-tools: An approach for discovery and knowledge work

Xplaner

What is information design? And in a world where, slowly but surely, everything is being translated into, and expressed as, information, how do you begin to think about organizing the massive amounts of information we’re generating every day?

Tools 98

Help Us Build a Social Media Curriculum Module in 7 Days!

Boxes and Arrows

I'm really excited to be part of an interesting learning experiment sponsored by NTEN. It's called Be the Media and it's designed to "build a toolkit and instructional guides about how social media strategies and tools can enable nonprofit organizations to create, compile, and distribute their stories and change the world.".

Some rules for effective business communication

Xplaner

Here are some basic rules of communication that could improve communication flow in a business. Some of them are fundamental "rules of engagement” that could set the overall tone for a company. Others are specific concepts for categorizing and measuring communication flow. The idea is that the link between communication and action can be measured and reported. We do this for financial and product flows: Why not do it for our communication?

Extending the Invitation to Participate

Boxes and Arrows

During the Comment Challenge, one of the activities that raised a fair amount of questions and discussion was on Day 11 when I suggested that participants write a Comment Policy. My purpose with the task was to suggest that as bloggers we needed to be clear with our readers that we invite and encourage comments, so we needed to let them know this on our blogs.

Assessing and Fostering a Culture of Innovation

Speaker: Magnus Penker, CEO & Founder, Innovation360 Group

Welcome to an interactive empowering session on how to sharpen your future through innovation management, which can help guide your company’s goals. During this webinar, Magnus Penker, international thought leader and author, will dive into how to assess and foster culture and capabilities for innovation.

Posterous for the Easiest Blogging Ever

Boxes and Arrows

Here's a tool that will make starting and maintaining a blog easy, even for those who have minimal technical skill-- Posterous. Posterous allows you to do everything with your blog via email. That's right, everything. You can even set up your blog by sending an email! Simply send a message to post@posterous.com and you're up and running. The subject line of your email is the post title and the text of your email is the content. You can also send photos, videos files and mp3s.

Video 40

"Punishing Failure is a Way to Encourage Mediocrity"

Boxes and Arrows

Continuing my thinking this week on failure and risk-taking as forms of professional development, here's a great video from Michael Eisner on the role of failures in creating successes. A few gems: Punishing failure is a way to encourage mediocrity. Fearful people do mediocre work. To increase your successes, you have to double your failure rate. Disney, taking a cue from The Gong Show , used to do brainstorming sessions where the worst ideas were "gonged."

More Trending

Web 2.0 Wednesday: Tell Us Something Unique About Where You Live

Boxes and Arrows

This week's Web 2.0 Wednesday activity is inspired by Ines and TJ. Thanks especially to Ines who sent me several Web 2.0 ideas. If you have any, please email them to me or leave me something in comments. One of the beauties of Web 2.0 is how it connects us to people from all over the world, in different cultures with different ways of life. This gives us wonderful opportunities to learn from each other. So here's this week's activity: Use a Web 2.0

Video 40

Comprehensive or Comprehendible? The "Best" Choice or the "Good Enough" Option?

Boxes and Arrows

Massive list posts ("50+ Ways to Use Flickr," "100 Social Media Resources", etc.) seem to be a really popular format. I know that I myself am attracted to them, bookmarking almost every one I see because the sheer quantity of items seems to indicate that it must be useful. But this morning I was thinking that these kinds of posts, while attractive, are not necessarily very helpful, particularly for newbies.

Tools 40

Mistakes as Professional Development

Boxes and Arrows

This morning I realized that I haven't had any big flameouts in my career. No major mistakes, no monumental screw-ups. This isn't because I'm so perfect. It's because I haven't taken any huge risks. I go out on a limb a little ways, sure, but I'm always within my safety zone, working WITH a net. I thought about this while reading Drucker's Take on Making Mistakes : "Nobody learns except by making mistakes," Drucker wrote in his 1954 landmark book, The Practice of Management.

Coment Challenge Winners!

Boxes and Arrows

I'm very pleased to announce the winners of the 31 Day Comment Challenge! They are: For the most comments on a wide range of blogs (not just the "top” edubloggers) --A tie between Bonnie Kaplan and Claire Thompson. For the most high quality comments that thoughtfully reflect on the topic -- Carla Arena. For the comments that provoke and promote the most learning -- Kevin of Dogtrax. The student award -- Taylor.

11 Proven Ways to Turn Your Culture into a Culture of Innovation

Learn the 11 proven strategies that you can implement quickly to get every employee innovating and contributing to the growth of your company.

Instructions for Creating a Del.icio.us Portfolio

Boxes and Arrows

I'm testing out a new software package, ScreenSteps , which lets me create visual, step-by-step user guides and lessons. I used it to develop some simple instructions for creating a del.icio.us portfolio , a follow-up to my earlier post. It took me about 20 minutes to create after downloading the Screensteps software, which I get to test for 15 days.

Sometimes They Just Aren't Ready

Boxes and Arrows

I have a 16-year old daughter and let's just say that parenting her right now is. challenging. Apparently most things in the world are not meeting her expectations, particularly her relationships with the people around her. The other day she was complaining about someone she babysits for and how this person expects her to be infinitely available. I tried suggesting some ways to deal with the situation, but my daughter was having none of that.

If You Do Not Work On Important Problems, You Will Not Do Important Work

Boxes and Arrows

Why do you go to work in the morning? More importantly, what makes you WANT to go to work in the morning? Yes, it might be that pesky thing called a paycheck, but I'm guessing that those of us who bound out of bed, ready to hit the day, do so because we believe that the work we're doing has meaning, that we're contributing to something important.

De-Grading the Workplace

Boxes and Arrows

The other day I mentioned Alfie Kohn , best known for his book, Punished by Rewards , which I devoured when it first came out and still return to from time-to-time. In one of those serendipitous moments that occurs so often in the blogosphere, a few days later I saw that Christy Tucker bookmarked one of Kohn's articles, so I clicked through to check it out.

5 Product Traps - And Better Paths

Speaker: Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant, Rothman Consulting Group

Is your agile team overloaded with feature requests, with no time for discovery? Do your roadmaps read like impossible wish lists? Well, you’re not alone. It may seem impossible now, but what if we said that with a few changes, you could be meeting deadlines with the ability to predict progress with accuracy, be happy with your progress against the roadmap, and be making time for near-continuous discovery? Johanna Rothman has seen this all too often across many different organizations. She will take us through five common traps that agile product teams fall into – and likely you are in several of those traps right now. And good news - she has ways to avoid them!

Web 2.0 Wednesday: Web 2.0 in One Minute

Boxes and Arrows

Back in the day (not MY day, mind you, but "the day" of other people I know), Ken Blanchard's One Minute Manager was a hot book. Leaving aside the idea of being able to actually distill management into 60 seconds and how advisable that may be, I do kind of like the idea of "1-minute" activities because so many people use "lack of time" as their excuse for not doing something. If it's something that could be done in one minute, then maybe they'd give it a try.

Video 40

Using Del.icio.us to Create an Easy, Always Updated Online Portfolio

Boxes and Arrows

A few days ago, I was checking out Nine Notable Uses for Social Bookmarking (read the article--there's stuff there you probably haven't considered before) and I was struck by number 6-- build an online portfolio. I personally believe that having an online portfolio is a critical work literacy skill and an important part of an overall online identity management strategy. So back in April I ran a webinar on using free online tools to create an online portfolio.

Early Adoption is Hard When You Absolutely Count on Something

Boxes and Arrows

Tweet from Steve Bridger : I haven't downloaded Firefox 3 yet either--I'm so dependent on it and all my add-ons, I don't want things to get screwed up. Also the reason that I'm still on XP and haven't moved to Vista. So even we early adopters have our blind spots. Something to keep in mind when we're working to help people try new tools

Tools 40

Introducing Web 2.0 Wednesday

Boxes and Arrows

We had such a great response from the 31 Day Commenting Challenge that many people wanted to continue the fun on a less intense basis. Thus was born Web 2.0 Wednesdays, which I'm going to begin tomorrow. Here's the plan: Each Wednesday I'm going to post a Web 2.0 activity for you to try. If you have the time and inclination to do so, then please join in. If you don't--the activity just doesn't do it for you or you're too busy with other thing or whatever--then don't worry about it.

Living With Technical Debt: Balancing Quality and Perfection

Speaker: Cliff Gilley, The Clever PM

As a Product Manager, you probably have to deal with technical debt. Regularly. Whether you like it or not - because it can’t be avoided. Unexpected details pop up, as small as UX that needs clean-up, and as big as a previously unforeseen flaw in the infrastructure of a project. We have to accept that nobody gets away without some technical debt. And of course, the longer you take to deal with your technical debt, the more difficult it becomes to address fully. Feeling frustrated? Fortunately, we can take a step back, gain clarity, and see how the decisions we make impact our technical debt. Then, we can make decisions about how we want to balance technical debt with other priorities. Are we willing to live with some level of technical debt in order to ship product and meet deadlines? Can we mitigate technical debt to get to an MVP faster?

Finding Time Means Finding "Instead of" Rather than "In Addition To"

Boxes and Arrows

I recently moved into a new house and in the process of moving, I got rid of a lot of stuff I'd been holding onto for no apparent reason. I have to say that I'm liking the uncluttered look and have made a personal decision that from now on, if I bring something new into the house, something else will have to go. It's the "instead of" approach to home decor, since my 1200 sq. feet will not accommodate an "in addition to" home design scheme.

Professional Development Practice: The One Sentence Journal

Boxes and Arrows

Regular readers know that I 'm a big fan of reflective practice --one of the greatest values of blogging for me has been that it's created a forum for me to regularly think about what I do and how I do it. But most people aren't ready to make that kind of time commitment so here's something that I think might be a perfect way to encourage reflection in the shortest time possible: the one sentence journal , a great idea from blogger Gretchen Rubin.

Video 40

Ninging It

Boxes and Arrows

Jen of @injenuity is feeling frustrated with Ning : It pains me to say this, but I am no longer a fan of Ning for community building. It has been a year since I created my first site, a network for moms that has grown to 200 plus members, but I have no time to maintain. The network I created for faculty at my campus plugs along, but isn't functioning the way a social network naturally should. I feel like my members are trapped! It's no better than an LMS.

Tools 40

How Do You Use Metaphors for Learning? Open Thread

Boxes and Arrows

In yesterday's post , I gave some examples of various metaphorical structures for thinking about learning. At the end, I asked if other people found metaphors useful for thinking through concepts. In comments on that post, Kate Foy mentioned that she frequently uses metaphors and analogies to teach, while Ken Allen warned against getting too carried away with using metaphors as they can obscure, rather than enhance learning.

Spigit's 2018 State of Crowdsourced Innovation Report

A rigorous analysis of how the world’s largest brands – representing 21 different industry verticals – leverage their innovation programs to solve problems and surface opportunities, and the key role crowdsourcing plays in their success.

"If You Behave Like a Disease, People Develop an Immune System"

Boxes and Arrows

Very interesting post from Kevin Marks on how the "viral" model we use for thinking about spreading information on the web may not be the best way of thinking about how to reproduce ideas. As he suggests, "when you act like a disease, people develop an immune system."

Final Comment Challenge Voting is Open

Boxes and Arrows

It's time for the final voting for the 4 winners in the Comment Challenge. The survey is here. Our generous co-sponsors, Cocomment and Edublogs agreed to support us in awarding prizes in four categories: The most comments on a wide range of blogs (not just the "top” edubloggers). The most high quality comments that thoughtfully reflect on the topic. The comments that provoke and promote the most learning. Student category.

Future Executive Directors Fellowship at the Nonprofit Roundtable

Boxes and Arrows

Just wanted to share a project I'm REALLY excited about. Starting in September, I'll have the honor of serving as faculty lead for the Nonprofit Roundtable's Future Executive Directors Fellowship , an intensive 9-month program designed to prepare emerging nonprofit leaders. The project is being led by the tireless Rosetta Thurman who is one of the most amazing young women. I've ever met.

Learning in Academic vs. Corporate Settings

Boxes and Arrows

Cathy Moore left an excellent comment on my recent Culture Clash post that I think is worthy of being elevated to post level. It captures very well some of the key differences between those who work with learners in academic settings and those who work in corporate settings. Here it is: The corporate world does both "education" ("Am I making an ethical choice?") ") and "training" ("Which button should I push?"). ").

What Users Want: How and Why to Build Knowledge into Your Product

Speaker: Nils Davis, Principal, NPD Associates

Usage data allows PMs, the product team, and the whole organization to make better decisions. Good usage intelligence gives you the ability to be smarter, more active, more decisive, nimbler, and to minimize risk. But what if you don't have that data - such as before you have users? Or, what if the right decision seems to fly in the face of the data you have? Or, what if your product offers more than just the standard features? To get deeper into these questions, Nils Davis asks, "What is the most interesting thing about Instagram?" (Because who doesn't like a product that Facebook paid $1 billion for when it had fewer than 50 employees and no revenue?) Nils will use the example of Instagram’s Filters to talk about how putting prebuilt knowledge in your product can change the way your product is used for the better - putting you in the company of most market-leading products. Finally, he’ll tie it all together by explaining how the way you interpret and use usage data can impact the way your tell your product’s story, and ultimately, how your users use your product.

Nominations for the Comment Challenge Winners and Announcing Web 2.0 Wednesdays

Boxes and Arrows

Now that the 31 Day Comment Challenge has drawn to a close, it's time to nominate the winners in the four prize categories we announced at the beginning of the Challenge. As you'll recall, our generous co-sponsors, Cocomment and Edublogs agreed to support us in awarding prizes in four categories: The most comments on a wide range of blogs (not just the "top” edubloggers). The most high quality comments that thoughtfully reflect on the topic.

Culture Clash

Boxes and Arrows

The other day I wrote a post on the cultural language differences I observed during our recent Comment Challenge. It was actually part of a large issue I've been thinking about in terms of the "edu-blogosphere" and what that really means. Who's included in that realm? Is it just "academics" or does it also include people who do corporate training?

You Say "Tomato," I Say "Tomahto"

Boxes and Arrows

I'm working with the folks over at the e-Learning Guild on a project and had the opportunity yesterday to get a guided tour through their incredibly rich data. One of the practice searches we ran was to look at which online conferencing tools were being adopted in different sectors. What was interesting was that the tools being used by most businesses were NOT the same as the tools being used by education and government.

Technical Aptitude, the Digital Divide, and Learning 2.0

Xplaner

This post has been bubbling in my brain for about two weeks. Our group finally turned in our midterm project , so I have a little time to get these thoughts out of my head. Before I start let me say something to my group. I am just using our collective painful experience to illustrate a point. If you disagree with anything I say, please leave a comment and set the record straight! I am in a class this summer called “Designing Online Collaborative Learning&#.

Using Data and Messaging to Drive Product Activation

Speaker: Ruben Ugarte, Founder, Practico Analytics

Onboarding users is filled with possibilities and challenges. Not only are you showing the user how to use your product, but it's also a chance to connect with them and understand their needs. Of course, it’s crucial to have a good onboarding experience to drive your activation metrics. Quality onboarding is the first step towards turning a newly acquired user into a repeat user. If you're looking to optimize your onboarding to improve your activation metrics, this webinar is for you. Ruben Ugarte will be focusing on how to improve all aspects of onboarding experiences by understanding how your current onboarding process is stacking up, and giving you the tools to prioritize what to try changing. With improved onboarding, you'll see less drop-off and a happier user experience.